YouTube has allowed the creators of virulently antisemitic videos that refer to the “Jewish lobby” and describe Hitler as “an angel” to remain on its platform.
The JC reported on the antisemitic videos last week, hosted by Urdu-speaking YouTubers, and the hosts have now hit back at the newspaper for shining a light on their racism.
One the hosts, Zaid Hamid, can be seen declaring that “In reality, Hitler was an angel, the way he took action against Jews, the way he killed Jews.”
Pakistani news presenter Imran Riaz Khan stated in a video to his 1.65 million subscribers that “Jewish lobbyists” are “very strong”, and that they “lobby for others too in exchange for money.” He went on to proclaim that there are several “Jewish lobbies” in America and Europe, and that they have a desire to “control America.”
“Anyone who stands in any important elections for the House of Representatives or any other forum, they interview them and view their life and keep an eye on them,” the presenter said, adding: “Anyone who is in big positions in America, Jews keep an eye on them and spy on their lifestyle and anyone who disagrees with them they create troubles for him. Jews were behind Trump. Similarly anyone else who runs for the Presidency has the Jewish lobby support.”
According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” is an example of antisemitism.
Makhdoom Shahab-ud-Din, another YouTuber who has over 600,000 subscribers, is also accused of spreading antisemitic hate. In one video, he claimed that Jewish people “play” an “antisemitism card” when confronted about the actions of the Israeli Government, and that any criticism of Israel causes Jews to “come together and start attacking.”
According to the Definition, “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations” is also an example of antisemitism.
He also went on to praise Hamas, the antisemitic genocidal terrorist group, stating that they “gained a huge success” in their bombing of Israel.
Umer Karim, a Visiting Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) with an interest in Pakistan, said: “The Pakistani Urdu media discourse, whether electronic, print or digital, is heavily influenced by conspiracy theories that remain overarchingly antisemitic and consider Jews responsible for every wrongdoing in the world, particularly when it concerns the Muslim world. These narratives then resultantly fuel extremist attitudes, particularly against Jews who are considered as the centre of all evil, regardless of the fact if they politically support Israel or not.”
However, the YouTubers in question have since attacked the JC for its reporting on the issue.
Mr Khan accused the newspaper of being a “cabal” that is spreading “fake news” about Jew-hatred, even going as far to state that “there’s no hatred of Jews.” During this video, he displayed numerous images of Orthodox Jews in the background.
Further alluding to the antisemitic trope of global Jewish power, Mr Shahab-ud-Din stated that their “reporting” was not “liked by certain powers in the world.” He went on to refer to himself, Mr Khan, and Mr Hamid as the latest “victims” of the “antisemitism card.” He then requested that his viewers subscribe to his backup YouTube channel so that the “Jews fail in their nefarious and dirty objectives.”
A spokesperson for YouTube said: “Hate has no place on YouTube. To fight the spread of harmful content and protect our community, we’ve worked hard to develop responsible guidelines to define and make clear what content is unacceptable. When content is flagged to us, we work quickly to remove videos that violate our policies.”
However, it is notable that while several of the antisemitic videos have been removed, the creator’s channels have been allowed to remain.
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “YouTube has become a top tier platform for spreading hatred of Jews. Google has been making some progress in removing antisemitic incitement videos that are in the English language, but that progress is slow. However, as we know, some of the worst anti-Jewish incitement is not in English. The JC’s investigation has shone a spotlight on the fact that some of the worst incitement on YouTube is in languages like Urdu. These prolific broadcasters are whipping up hatred of Jews amongst Urdu speakers around the world, including here in the UK. There can be no excuses — Google needs to act and we will be discussing the JC’s findings with them.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism continues its robust engagement with social media companies over the content that they enable to be published, and we continue to make representations to the Government in this connection.